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Posted by Pete Evering on November 14, 2019
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Boost Retention with Tenant Events

Your tenants consider many factors when deciding whether to renew; keeping your tenants happy and showing them, they are cared for, can provide the added value to your property that will make them want to stay.

Holding an event for your tenants can mean doing anything from sending a small token of appreciation to them directly, to having monthly community parties. From a single event to test the waters, to filling the calendar with regularly scheduled events, the right planning will get people engaged, help keep them happy, and could even bring in business – so everyone wins!

Before you plan, consider the tenant themselves. For example, you wouldn’t want to hold a car show in the parking lot of a busy shopping center on Black Friday. Think too about the amenities offered by your property and the types of events that might highlight and demonstrate their utility.

The following event ideas are just a start, and there’s plenty of room to get creative when tailoring events to benefit your tenants.

An Actual Free Lunch

Many local delis and sandwich shops offer catering options with individually packaged boxed lunches in different varieties. These offer a generally low-cost way to provide your tenants with a free lunch without the hassle and distraction of a large catering set-up.

*This could be a fun way to surprise your commercial tenants in small offices or retail locations, just make sure to schedule deliveries before lunch-hours.

Yearly Birthday Party

Get one big cake and celebrate everyone’s birthday together.

Picture Day

Hire a photographer and hold a picture day for your tenants. This could be especially beneficial if you are able to use your property’s amenities as a backdrop. A community clubhouse or park used for pictures that are then shared on social media could mean tags at the property, providing increased awareness and exposure to potential future renters.

*Commercial tenants could benefit from this as well, as updating head shots is a task far too-often overlooked by professionals.

Sidewalk Art Project

Great for kids and families. Set up a designated section of pavement for a community art project with sidewalk chalk. This can be held over a day or weekend, and a photo of the finished art can be sent to participants after.

Food Trucks

A great way to save on catering costs! With a large enough tenant base, you can plan a community social event just by bringing in a few food trucks and places for people to sit and mingle. Add a bounce-house and some games and you’ll have a carnival-like event that’s family-friendly. Food trucks are a great way to bring a variety of local flavors to any outdoor community event.

*Own a retail center? Consult with your tenants to determine a “slow” weekend that could benefit from the additional traffic a parking lot of food trucks would bring.

Showcase Hyper-Local Art

Set up a gallery for artwork created by your tenants. Contests can he held on a recurring schedule to encourage involvement.

*Commercial properties can potentially increase foot traffic by displaying artwork from tenants and their families in common and public areas.

Go Viral

One of the few social media trends that has been on-going for many years is the #hashtag. You can use this to encourage participation in group efforts to clean up the area and help build a community among your tenants.

Make & Take Pizza Night

Set up a make-your-own pizza station with plenty of toppings, sauce, and cheese. Grab some empty pizza boxes (these are pretty cheap online), load each box with a crust, and hand one to each tenant as they arrive to make their own take-and-go pizzas.

Interior Design Contest

Ask tenants to submit photos of their space highlighting the best use of their decorating skills. Gift cards to home improvement or decorating stores make great prizes for winners. With permission from the tenants who enter (or the winner/finalists) the photos received could be a great addition to your future marketing materials, showcasing a variety of creative uses of the space.

Some properties may benefit from regular scheduled events to enrich tenants lives and create a sense of community, while others will find it more prudent to hold a yearly “Resident Appreciation Week/Day.”

Once planned, you’ll need to get the word out about your event in advance. Send a newsletter or mailer to tenants and follow-up with an email blast to make the event and date known. Starting about two weeks before, put up signs or posters in high-traffic areas, such as in a mailroom or by elevators, with full details for the event. You can go the extra mile by mailing an invitation to your tenants as well.

On the day of your event, make sure to have a guest sign-in set up, or to keep record of participants, and send a thank you card the day after the event. Encourage feedback by including an online survey for input from participants (either through email, as part of a newsletter, or included with the thank you card) so that you can fine-tune future events to give your tenants the best experience.

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